Monday, 14 January 2019

New York and Turning 30

Start spreading the news...I’m blogging again... 

She's A Gentry in New York

I think that introduction shows just how rusty I am with this blogging malarkey. It’s too late to say happy New Year so instead I’ll just say hello and happy 2019. How are we all?

I thought I’d get back on the horse with a somewhat unassuming post on NEW FLIPPING YORK!!! I know I’ve been absent from the blog but if you follow me over on Instagram you may have seen a post or few thousand I’ve put up o the big apple.

She's A Gentry

I went for my thirtieth birthday last month and after romanticising about it through Sex and the City episodes and Frank Sinatra songs and I have to say it lives up to the name and so much more.

She's A Gentry in New York

Chris and I were there for six magical days, taking in the sights and the atmosphere. I won’t bore you with all the details of where to go and why because to be honest it would seem a bit patronising. They’re tourist attractions for a reason and I can assure you they are worth visiting. I will say though that my highlights were the Empire State Building for the views- I mean just look at them.

Empire State Building views

empire state building views

photo of views form The Empire State Building

One place I really do have to tell you about is this gorgeous gorgeous restaurant in Brooklyn called the River Cafe. Chris took me here on my 30th Birthday as a surprise and I can honestly say it was the most special, thoughtful and magical thing anyone has ever done for me. He made reservations 9 months in advance to ensure I had the best birthday ever and I have to say he nailed it. The restaurant itself has been there for 42 years and boasts the most stunning views of Manhattan on the riverside of Brooklyn, right next to the Brooklyn Bridge.

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

As we entered we were greeted by the sound of beautiful jazz music played on the piano and the breathtaking views through the large windowed restaurant. The dress code for the evening was “jackets for gentleman for dinner anytime after 4pm. Ties preferred” and then I realised why Chris had been so adamant on the dress I wore. Usually he’s not interested! Ha!

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

We had the most exquisite dinner I’ve ever had in my life from the three course set menu and honestly I had a really tough time choosing what to have. Everything sounded amazing and its the longest I’ve ever spent pouring over a menu, which doesn’t surprise me as the restaurant is Michelin Star. Eventually I chose the Three Shells for an appetizer.

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

A variety of chilled shellfish, fresh abalone, citrus, soy, lime, Shigoku oysters, cucumber Champagne mignonette, Peconic Bay scallop ceviche, sea bean, tomato and coriander.

Chris’ main looked equally delicious. He went for the Colorado rack of lamb, braised lamb breast and Swiss chard cannelloni, Sicillian pistachio and arugula pesto, whipped ricotta.

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

All in all it was such a special place to spend my birthday. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t shed a tear or two because honestly I’ve never felt so special in all my life. If you are ever in New York and celebrating something special,I urge you to go. It is phenomenal.

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

The River Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

On another birthday note that is a whole different class of fabulous is the Sex and The City tour! 2018 Marked the twentieth anniversary of the show and I couldn’t help but wonder... would anyone still be into it as much as I am? It turns out they are and if you too are a fan of the show, this is a must do tour! Firstly our tour guide Melissa Stokoski was fricking hilarious. I mean she is a comedian but she’s awesome and she really made the tour. A bunch of single gals and us ladies with unfortunate husbands who were forced to join all gathered by the fountain outside Central Park to get on the bus and from there we were whisked away and shown various locations the show was shot at.

She's A Gentry in New York

During the tour you get to stop at some of the famous filming locations such as Carrie’s House (eek!) and the bar known as ‘Scout’ in the sow for a cosmopolitan or two. It was bloody awesome and well worth doing!

Yes this is a crappy iPhone photo but fuck it, it's New York!
Finally the last thing I would recommend on my to do list in New York would be cycling. Yup! But not just cycling anywhere- cycling in Central Park!

cycling in Central Park

Until I visited New York I had no idea quite how HUGE Central Park really is so to get as much out of it as we could we hired bikes for couple of hours. The park itself used to have traffic running through it but then got pedestrian-ised so the roads that remain are perfect for cycling novices and beginners plus you can see so much more of it on a bike rather than walking!

cycling in Central Park

So those are the un-touristy things that I would recommend and yeah I’m 30 now! It’s been three weeks since I got back from New York and hand on heart I still miss it now and feel sad to be back.

Maybe its the fact it’s new year and I’m doing dry January, maybe I’m having a quarter life crisis at 30 (I mean, what do you do in your thirties anyway!?) or maybe it’s the best city in the world and it has changed me forever. I think its a combination of all three but who knows!

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

DIY Diaries- The Dining Room

It's been a long old time between posts on doing up the house I bought last year and to be honest, I don't know why!

The dining room has been finished for quite some time and has become a space where both Chris and I really enjoy entertaining people over a glass or two.

As you can see the space was a rather neutral magnolia room before which to Chris and I translated as bland. We were desperate to inject some colour as well as some character and we fell in love with the colour navy blue- something that worried close family. We got remarks such as "you do know that's a very dark colour" and "that colour will make the room look smaller you know", but despite this we still wanted to go for it.

Yes a dark colour can make a room look smaller but as you can see from these photos, light spills into this room (which is rather annoying for photographing!) and we feel it makes for a cosy room, especially on old winter nights.

To us it's our little den for drinks and conversation, served with hearty warm meals and memories and we are over the moon with it.

Dining Table  - Next
Dining chairs- Next
Black shelves- The range
Table lamp- Next
Ceiling light- Next
Rustic lantern- Antique family heirloom
Copper lantern- The Range
Hogwarts potions box- Gift (similar here)
Candelabra- Next
Cycling statue- independent gift shop (similar)

Being the first room in the house to have paint and paintbrush applied, we were a little dubious- especially after picking such a bold colour. Any errors would be painfully obvious and what didn't help with this process was the paint we chose...

Dulux Paint- Sapphire Salute

Having been to B&Q we'd been recommended Valspar paint as being the best on the market and eagerly purchased the paint but we found that it went on streaky and horrid- something which really knocked our confidence with decorating. Thankfully Dulux saved the day and went on the walls like a dream to achieve the finished look which is what we had desired all along so in our experience we'd recommend steering clear of Valspar paints!

I hope you like what we've done with the space. Personally I don't think the photos do the room justice. We are always getting comments on how lovely the room is; even from the sceptics who said the colour was too bold. The main thing is we've made this space a place we are proud of and truly enjoy entertaining people in as well as ourselves. A date night in the dining room is one of my favourite pastimes and I'm forever telling Chris its the best place in town and they know our music tastes so well!

We've now done the bedrooms upstairs and are about to embark on the hallway soon so keep an eye out for more DIY diaries coming up on the blog.

In the meantime, what's your favourite room of your house and why?

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Getting my Autumn hair on at Michael John*

Like a lot of us, I tend to switch my hair up for the seasons. In spring and summer I’ll go lighter and brighter in shades and come autumn winter I'm craving richer, deeper tones to my Barnet. Every time I’m due that change, I’ll head to none other than Michael John Hair Artwork for premier hairdressing in Peterborough and this time around I thought I’d take you with me!

Michael John Hair Artwork

The salon is located at the back of Queensgate next to John Lewis and is really easy to find, plus they have such good opening hours! Working full time I’ve been limited in the past with salon appointments but Michael John has you covered with late night appointments up to 8pm on a Thursday and early bird appointments from 8:20am. I have been known to head there on a Thursday evening for a perfect way to unwind and relax whilst getting pampered and equally heading there first thing on a Saturday morning to get weekend ready and still have a full day ahead of me. You can also book your appointments online which again is perfect if the thought pops into your head that you need a haircut and its out of opening hours. I’ve been known to book online at 9pm on occasions and it’s brilliant that there’s the facility to do that!

Michael John Hair Artwork

I’ve been coming to Michael John since March last year and every time I visit the staff are incredibly attentive and friendly and this visit was no different. My stylist at the salon is Amy- a Creative Designer and master colour technician who I trust implicitly with my hair. She rescued me from a balayage disaster last year and with her magic she restored my hair as well as my confidence as you can see below!

Michael John Hair Artwork
My balayage from my last visit by the lovely Amy!

So with autumn being here, I wanted to add some auburn tones and richness into the mix with my hair colour and showed Amy some images of what I had in mind. Once we’d set out what Amy thought was best for my hair, she worked her magic and I sat and relaxed whilst the Wella colour did its thing. Sitting in the comfy chairs of the salon whilst the colour develop is oddly one of my favourite parts. I’m given an abundance of magazines to flick through at my leisure along with a coffee whilst I sit back and relax. It’s proper me time and I relish it every time I visit the salon.

Michael John Hair Artwork

Once the colour is developed, I’m guided over to the basins for the dye to be washed away. I’m always treated to a head massage which is honestly so good, I could melt into the basin and I tend to be in a bit of a daze afterwards! Like I say, the staff really know how to look after you at the salon and make you feel special.
Michael John Hair Artwork

The final part of the pampering is a good cut and a blow dry. I’ve changed my style up slightly in that this time around Amy popped some layers in, to frame my face and give a lovely soft look when my hair is curled. My fringe has been kept long as I’m in the process of growing it out slightly into more of a split fringe ad she tidied up my very silly self fringe cut. Note to self: cutting your own fringe is never a good idea and I’ll certainly be booking in for fringe trims from now on!! As Amy was drying my hair, I could see the colour come to life and I could feel my excitement brewing. It’s so cheesy but I always find it hard not to sit with a beaming grin on my face when my hair is being styled at the end as I’m always just so in awe of how Amy does my hair! And this is what she created this time...

Michael John Hair Artwork

Michael John Hair Artwork

We didn’t go for your typical balayage technique and came up with the name “Autumnal balayage with a twist” as Amy created something new and original, steering away from the typical balayage that everyone now seems to have. Being a creative colourist and with her years of expertise, she worked with the existing tones in my hair and the blonde balayage to create this Autumnal balayage effect that melts from auburn highlights down into a caramel auburn mix at the bottom. I am beyond happy with it and feel like a new woman!!

Michael John Hair Artwork

To keep my hair in tip top condition and as part of this blog post, I was kindly gifted some products to try out that are best for my hair colour and hair type so I’m really intrigued to use those and will report back on those very son!. Michael John also have a new loyalty card available. Each time you attend for an appointment, you get points added to your card and over time they add up to free products at the salon which is another lovely bonus for being a loyal customer.

Have you been to Michael John yet?

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

How I Edit my Instagram Photos | She's A Gentry

How to edit Instagram photos on iPhone

This year I feel like I've finally nailed my IG feed and got it looking how I want it and with my photos edited in the style I like- plus I do it all on my phone, making it way more convenient than editing on a laptop and transferring them across. Result!

How to edit Instagram photos on iPhone

How to edit Instagram photos on iPhone

How to edit Instagram photos on iPhone by She's A Gentry

How to edit Instagram photos on iPhone by She's A Gentry

With all this being said, I've had quite a few people approach me and ask how I edit my photos, what apps etc etc. I could write on and on and try to explain it in words but to be honest, it's better if I show you so without further ado, I've made a video!

The link is as follows in case you'd rather watch it straight on YouTube: https://youtu.be/EuA41Qqk2xA

I really hope it helps those of you that want to get this kind of look with your photos. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I personally really like it and its made Instagram a really fun platform for me this year! 

Also shameless little plug but I've got some really exciting videos and content in the works for my channel so be sure to hit the subscribe button so you can see when I've uploaded and if you can like and share my videos I would sooo appreciate it!

In the meantime, I'm intrigued to know how you edit your photos for the gram. Are you an in app editor? A DSLR and edit on a laptop kinda person or are you like me, phone and twenty million editing apps?

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